Despite its recent scandals, you can’t be a Canadian and not love Tim Hortons. It’s like appreciating authentic maple syrup or getting overly obsessed with the Winter Olympics every four years – it’s in our blood. But what really goes on behind the scenes at our beloved corner coffee shop (that is also part of a giant corporate chain)? Your Morning’s Brandon Gonez peeked behind the curtain this week to find out.
Here’s what we learned all about Canada’s favourite coffee.
11 herbs and spices, and 1 coffee recipe
No wonder they market their Dark Roast so aggressively, Tim Hortons hasn’t changed their recipe since 1964 (when they were founded) and they guard it like the Colonel guards those 11 herbs and spices. Kevin West is the director of coffee operations and he’s known as the Coffee God at the Ancaster, Ontario Tim Hortons facility. He and his team are in charge of making sure every cup of Timmies is exactly how you like it.
Your coffee could come from across the world
Tim Hortons sources their coffee from four to six countries at any given time so the beans that made your cup could be from anywhere in the world including Guatemala, Columbia or other places in Central America. The facilities at Ancaster house about a week’s worth of coffee for Canadians. That’s A LOT of coffee.
Quality control is huge
The quality control experts are all over that facility making sure beans are uniform in size and shape to make the best coffee possible. They even go so far as to smell the beans to ensure Canada is getting the very best. Yes, the experts can tell the difference.
Fun fact: coffee beans start off green and turn brown in the roasting process. Who knew?
Your coffee is getting packaged super fast
Once the beans are quality checked, roasted and ground, they get packaged into the little bags your local Tim Hortons will use to make their daily (Always Fresh) brew. How quickly does that happen, you ask? Four thousand cups a minute. Then they make sure that coffee is staying put by putting the bags through rigorous testing to make sure they can withstand a flight across the country.
You can literally have the job of “coffee tester”
There are four people at Tim Horton’s HQ whose sole job is to sit in the “coffee tasting room” and taste brews from around the world. These guys don’t have it as easy as you might think though. Each of them ends up tasting about 100,000 cups of coffee a year and they have a special technique that requires “drawing in as much oxygen as possible” while taking a sip. Essentially, you make that slurping noise your mom always yelled at you about.
If we weren’t already in love with Tim Hortons, we sure are now.